Hu Yongkai was born in Beijing in 1945 and has been totally absorbed by painting since childhood. When he was three, he would use chalk to draw intricate lines on the floor of his home. Since becoming a professional artist he has mostly used the medium of heavy, acrylic colour, but he has not lost his interest in line which he believes to be of paramount importance in Chinese painting.
After living in Hong Kong, he emigrated to the United States in 1992 and it was here that Hu Yongkai encountered many kinds of colourful Western art which, unusually, had the effect of increasing his interest in Chinese traditional linework.
His method is to work freely with brush and ink, destroying the unsatisfactory paintings and keeping only the good ones. This freehand style of painting is called Xieyi and it is a style with which Hu Yongkai is particularly associated. His technique and his stunning use of splash colour and ink together with a fine line to express freely his ideas on paper has resulted in Hu Yongkais increased recognition and in exhibitions around the world.